July 3rd, our first evening at Denali National Park, we drove the park road (private vehicles are only allowed to drive the first 15 miles into the park).
We were surprised to see the top of Mt. McKinley (Denali) at one of the overviews. Mind you... Mt. McKinley is over 75 miles away... hubby got this shot with his long distance lens. Mt. McKinley is over 20,000 feet high and is the tallest mountain in North America. Unfortunately, this will be our last view of any mountain top during our stay at Denali.
We signed up to take a bus tour (it's not free or cheap either) the next day. This is the only way you can go further into the park without hiking or biking in. We got on the bus at 7:00 AM and returned at 3:30 PM. There were longer tours but this one was long enough for us.
The day started out overcast and gray. You couldn't see the tops of any of the mountains. The good news...the guide advised that the animals were most likely to be out and about when the sun isn't shining. The buses were piling up when wildlife appeared. We saw one moose at the beginning of the tour but couldn't get a photo. We also saw some wolves and bald eagles but not able to get photos of them either.
At least it wasn't raining during the morning hours. Only the first 15 miles of the road into the park is paved.
Two caribou on the road.
I liked this photo of them feeding on the ridge.
Cute arctic squirrel on the side of the road.
Off in the distance a Momma Grizzly and one of her cubs.
Another photo of Momma Grizzly's two cubs playing off in the distance.
As the day went on it got misty, rainy and visibility worstened.
On the drive out of the park the bus driver had to stop and clean the windows twice because we couldn't see out of them. Boy, were we glad we didn't sign up for an afternoon bus tour. We went 63 miles into the park and never saw any of the mountains because of the low clouds.
The next day we went to the park's sled dog demonstration where we got to pet some of the sled dogs. This is Muddy, a 7 year old Alaskan Husky. She was so sweet and her coat was beautiful. The Alaskan Huskies are small dogs, 35 to 40 pounds, and bred to love to run. They are not to be confused with the Siberian Husky which is a much larger husky bred to pull heavy loads.
The sled dogs are used in the park by the rangers especially during the winter when the one road into the park is closed due to snow. The ranger said that they run the sleds by the creeks not on the roads.
We were allowed to have our picture taken with the resting sled dog team.
So long from Denali National Park. Lots more on Alaska coming down the pike.
Sandy at Teacup Lane